This recipe features the best of breakfast in one package, Bacon & Egg (in a) Muffin with a hint of maple syrup and a surprise inside.
Ok, I’ll fess up right off the bat. I didn’t come up with the idea for a muffin with a soft egg inside. I wish I did, but I’m totally stealing the idea from Craftsman and Wolves in San Francisco. A couple of months ago when a photo of the muffin popped up on my Facebook news feed I was immediately stricken with envy that I didn’t invent this genius muffin.
The original dish has the egg encased in what they call a “meat cake”. I’m not really sure what that is, so I decided to make a muffin using some of my favorite ingredients; buttermilk, corn meal and maple syrup. These all also happen to be great breakfast ingredients. The muffins would have to be baked in a jumbo muffin pan to accommodate the egg.
Trial & Error to create the perfect Bacon & Egg (in a) Muffin:
I thought the hard part of mastering this dish would be figuring out how to bake an egg inside a muffin so that the white cooked through and the yolk remained soft. For the first test-run of the recipe I used eggs prepared 3 different ways. I soft boiled two eggs, froze two eggs in the shell (yes, it’s possible), peeled the frozen eggs then put them into the muffin batter. I also cracked a raw egg right into the muffin batter. From that first batch I learned that soft boiled eggs were the way to go. The raw egg cooked through and had a hard yolk. The frozen eggs didn’t cook enough and had runny whites as well as a runny yolks (runny yolks=Yum, runny whites≠Yum).
I didn’t realize that the real problem would be getting the right texture for the muffin. I started with a version of my Cast Iron Skillet Corn Bread. The muffins from the first test batch were very dense and rubbery. I realized I’d manipulated the batter too much and probably knocked all the air bubbles formed by the baking soda out of the batter before it went into the oven. Also, I wanted a little more sweetness and moisture.
So it took three more test rounds to get the texture and flavor I wanted for the muffin. I adjusted the ratio of flour to corn meal to lighten the crumb, upped the amount of buttermilk for more moisture, made the batter a little sweeter, and used a mix of baking soda and baking powder to get more lift when the batter hit the oven.
Be Eggzacting (sorry!) when boiling the eggs!
A few notes on handling the eggs; Once the cold eggs go into the water (just an inch of water) cook them for exactly 5 minutes. I don’t often use a kitchen timer, but for these eggs I did. As soon as the timer goes off bring the pot to the sink and fill it with cold water to stop the cooking. Let them cool for 5 minutes then put them in a bowl in the refrigerator to cool completely. I did this step the night before. Put the unpeeled eggs in the freezer while you’re making the batter (for no more than 1/2 an hour, you don’t want to freeze them). This way the eggs are very cold when they go into the oven and I found them easier to peel. I got perfect eggs every time using this method.
So here it is, all the best parts of breakfast in one muffin; bacon, maple syrup, corn bread and a runny egg yolk for dipping. Thanks to chef William Werner at Craftsman and Wolves for the inspiration.
Click on the video to see how-to put together these amazing Bacon & Egg Muffins: